Shutterstock Sell Photos and Earn Money: A Step-by-Step Guide

Shutterstock is one of the largest stock photo marketplaces in the world, with over 380 million images and videos available for download. It is a great platform for photographers to sell their work and earn money.

To sell photos on Shutterstock, you must first create an account and upload your photos. Once your photos have been approved, they will be available for customers to download. Shutterstock pays contributors a commission on each download, and the amount you earn will depend on the type of license the customer purchases.

In this article, we will walk you through the steps on how to sell photos on Shutterstock and start earning money. We will also provide some tips for success, so you can maximize your earnings.

Step 1: Create an account

To create an account on Shutterstock, simply visit the Shutterstock website and click on the “Contributor” button. You will then be asked to create an account by providing your name, email address, and creating a password.

Once you have created an account, you will need to complete your profile. This includes providing information about your photography experience, your equipment, and your areas of interest.

Step 2: Upload your photos

Once your profile is complete, you can start uploading your photos. Shutterstock has a few requirements for the photos that you submit, so be sure to read the Shutterstock contributor guidelines before uploading.

Your photos must be high quality, original, and copyright-free. You must also own the rights to any people or property that are featured in your photos.

To upload your photos, simply click on the “Upload” button and select the photos that you want to upload. You can upload up to 10 photos at a time.

Step 3: Keyword your photos

Once you have uploaded your photos, you need to keyword them. Keywords are the words that customers will use to search for your photos on Shutterstock.

When keywording your photos, be sure to use relevant keywords that accurately describe the content of your photos. You can also use long-tail keywords, which are more specific and less competitive.

Step 4: Promote your Shutterstock portfolio

Once you have uploaded and keyword your photos, you can start promoting your Shutterstock portfolio. There are a few things you can do to promote your portfolio, such as:

  • Sharing your portfolio on social media
  • Adding your portfolio link to your website or blog
  • Submitting your photos to photography contests and exhibitions
  • Networking with other photographers and Shutterstock contributors

How much do you get paid per download?

The amount you get paid per download depends on the type of content and your earnings tier. For example, you will earn more per download for a high-resolution image than you will for a low-resolution image. You will also earn more per download if you are in a higher earnings tier.

How to get paid

Shutterstock pays contributors through PayPal or Payoneer. To get paid, you need to add your payment information to your Shutterstock account. Shutterstock pays contributors on a monthly basis, typically around the 15th of the month.

Tips for success

Here are some tips for success on Shutterstock:

  • Upload high-quality photos. Your photos should be well-composed, well-lit, and in focus.
  • Keyword your photos accurately. Use relevant keywords that accurately describe the content of your photos.
  • Upload new photos regularly. The more photos you have in your portfolio, the more likely it is that customers will find your work.
  • Promote your Shutterstock portfolio. Share your portfolio on social media, add it to your website or blog, and submit your photos to photography contests and exhibitions.


Selling photos on Shutterstock is a great way to earn money from your photography. By following the steps in this article and following the tips for success, you can increase your chances of success on Shutterstock.

Is Shutterstock right for you?

Shutterstock is a good option for photographers and videographers who want to sell their content to a wide range of buyers. Shutterstock is also a good option for photographers and videographers who are looking to earn extra money from their work.

Additional tips:

  • Consider using Shutterstock’s Portfolio Review tool to get feedback on your portfolio from Shutterstock experts.
  • Take advantage of Shutterstock’s Contributor Academy, which offers free tutorials and resources to help you improve your photography and Shutterstock skills.
  • Join the Shutterstock Contributor community to network with other photographers and contributors, and learn from their experiences.

Call to action:

Sign up for a Shutterstock contributor account today and start earning money from your photos!

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